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    Default Help – starting school with severe food allergies

    I am a long time reader here, not a big time poster as do not want to become a laughing stock due to my poor grammar and spelling. I am in a bit of a mess and in need of you, lovely ladies thoughts and suggestions.


    Could you please give your honest thoughts regarding what to expect in regard to care plan for my son who has sever food allergies from his primary school? My son is anaphylaxis to eggs, nuts and wheat. Hopefully he will able to tolerate wheat by the time he start school in 2016 (we challenge him with wheat last year and this year, but did not work out well, will do the test again next year). For eggs and nuts, he is not yet ready for challenge.
    We visited couple of schools 2 years a go to get a better idea about how they manage kids with sever food allergies. Unfortunately most school did not offer us much hope. There was one school which was very good at that time. There were posters visible through out the school (it is a small school, just one building accommodating whole primary classes) which clearly mentioned not to bring food products that contain eggs and nuts. The teachers we spoken were understanding and happy to accommodate his need. Fast forward 2 years, we had his enrolment interview yesterday. The teacher who interviewed us seems to have no idea about sever food allergies. She said things like our son will learn very quickly that if he eat something with eggs he will get sick, she laugh that they have to carry back pack with medicines for children with medical issues such as asthma, diabetic when they are going out. She is more concern about what to do when kids bring birthday cakes to share with class as my son would not able to eat them.

    We are in two minds now, the warm, welcoming feeling we had from last visit is no longer there. Do you think it would be ok to contact principal and check with him what he can do and their policy regarding sever food allergies? I am not asking them to ban wheat at school or to ban food that contain tracers of eggs or nuts etc. Is it ok to ask him whether it is possible to ask parents of reception class not send egg sandwich, hard boiled eggs, omelet to school? We want our son to feel safe in his learning environment.

    Thanks for reading, appreciate your time and hope you can help me to overcome the mess I am in now. I am not ready to home school him (English is not my first language and do not think I am capable of doing it) Really need to find suitable learning environment for him.

  2. #2
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    Hi there. I really understand your worries and concerns as I too have a child who suffers from severe food allergies.

    So far my child has been very lucky to have two fantastic teachers who have kept a very close eye on him. I have made it very clear to them that I have no issues at all with them calling me if they have any concerns no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Our school first aid lady is awesome, and knows my son well. I know that each classroom displays a copy of my son's anaphylaxis action plan. There are also copies displayed in the art room, library and canteen, and anywhere else that my son may visit during the course of his school day.

    If I were you I would definitely make an appointment to speak with the principal, especially if you think the teacher you were speaking to didn't really take your concerns seriously. This is a serious matter, and you deserve to be heard.

    Our school at this stage has a blanket ban on nuts but no other foods. Although my son is allergic to nuts, there are definitely other foods that are a bigger trigger. To ensure my son's safety a note is sent home to all families in his class year to ask if they could please refrain from sending the certain food that my son is allergic to.

    So far we have been very happy with the way our school handles this issue. Definitely speak up if you feel the school should be doing more. Good luck!

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to eastofeden For This Useful Post:

    hksl  (25-11-2014)

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    Our school doesn't have any policies in place that certain foods arnt to be brought in but are more about educating ALL children about allergies not to share food and handwashing etc, if children want to bring food in for birthdays etc a permission slip is sent home, they do prefer people send in non edible things though. Talk to the principle and see what they do I think educating all kids is a great idea and they are such sponges when they are young they take it quiet seriously that if they go near a classmate who is allergic they can make them sick and they don't want to do that.

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    hksl  (25-11-2014)

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    I dont have a child with an allergy so i hope you don't mind me replying.

    My DD1 is in year 1 and there is a child with an egg allergy in her class.

    The school is already a 'nut free zone' but this year we were all sent a note explaining that a child in the class had a serious egg allergy and to assist in protecting the child were asked not to send egg products in our child's lunch.

    If we send bday cakes to school the container has to be marked with the ingredients.
    The child with the allergy has a stash of treat food that his mum provides the teacher each term so when the other kids have bday cake this child gets one of their safe treats so they don't miss out entirely.

    I have seen in the classrooms the allergy action plan for this child and in the staffroom on the wall i saw they have a list with kids with severe allergies and the kids pictures so the staff all know

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    hksl  (25-11-2014)

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    just to add, my grandson school has a white ribbon on the school hat. Everyone in the school knows, if the child has a white ribbon that child has allergies. my grandson is allergic to egg and dairy, he also has his own cupcakes from home in the freezer at school for birthday treats. I would think that all schools have to be serious when dealing with allergies. marie.

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    Thank you very much, really appreciate all your replies. We searched for other schools around and visited one yesterday. It was a small school, less than 125 students in whole primary school. The principal seems caring and understanding. They have other students with sever food allergies and familiar with situations like us. Hopefully my son will outgrow his wheat allergy before he start school. Then it would be nuts and eggs and hopefully we can work with school to find a suitable framework (like asking students to wash hands after eating) so that my son can have normal education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperGranny View Post
    just to add, my grandson school has a white ribbon on the school hat. Everyone in the school knows, if the child has a white ribbon that child has allergies. my grandson is allergic to egg and dairy, he also has his own cupcakes from home in the freezer at school for birthday treats. I would think that all schools have to be serious when dealing with allergies. marie.
    Thanks Marie, that's a great idea.

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    Thanks silly, I understand education is the key, but at reception we would prefer if they can have at least nut free policy and if possible no hard boil eggs. My son is not going to eat anything from others, he knows he can only eat food taken from home. However, if other kids eat say hard boil eggs or nuts and touch him without washing hands thoroughly, he will become sick. That's the risk we are reluctant to take in the first year of his formal education. When they are bit older, hopefully it will become better.

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    Thanks RmumR, you have a wonderful school. We are looking for a place like that for our son.
    My son is aware he cannot eat birthday cakes, normal biscuits etc. At birthday parties, he joined his friends to wish happy birthday to birthday child and moved away.My wheat free, egg free, nut free bake food items are not that yummy, so he does not eat much treat food.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastofeden View Post
    Hi there. I really understand your worries and concerns as I too have a child who suffers from severe food allergies.

    So far my child has been very lucky to have two fantastic teachers who have kept a very close eye on him. I have made it very clear to them that I have no issues at all with them calling me if they have any concerns no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Our school first aid lady is awesome, and knows my son well. I know that each classroom displays a copy of my son's anaphylaxis action plan. There are also copies displayed in the art room, library and canteen, and anywhere else that my son may visit during the course of his school day.

    If I were you I would definitely make an appointment to speak with the principal, especially if you think the teacher you were speaking to didn't really take your concerns seriously. This is a serious matter, and you deserve to be heard.

    Our school at this stage has a blanket ban on nuts but no other foods. Although my son is allergic to nuts, there are definitely other foods that are a bigger trigger. To ensure my son's safety a note is sent home to all families in his class year to ask if they could please refrain from sending the certain food that my son is allergic to.

    So far we have been very happy with the way our school handles this issue. Definitely speak up if you feel the school should be doing more. Good luck!
    Thank you eastofeden, hopefully we can find a school like yours.


 

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